Chicken-less Nuggets

Chicken-less Nuggets (640x419).jpg

As someone who grew up on chicken nuggets and chips (and now with 3 of my own children to nourish) I wanted to find a healthy replacement for this common family meal.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  My children love them.  And I take great pleasure in knowing that they are eating a nutritious wholesome meal while getting that crispy crunchy texture that they so love.  

I serve my chicken-less nuggets with roasted sweet potato fries and a large green salad.

This recipe is: Vegan, soy-free, wheat-free, gluten free, oil free

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 35 to 45 mins

Makes 10 nuggets



1 can chickpeas
2 TB rolled oats (source gluten free if necessary)
1 TB ground flaxseed
¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper (optional)
2 TB tamari sauce, plus additional to brush (opt for a gluten free brand)
2 TB cashew nut butter
2/3 cup breadcrumbs made from wholegrain bread (wheat & gluten free options will work here) 


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.

2. Open and drain the can of chickpeas.

3. Place the chickpeas into a mini food processor and blitz until smooth. You may have to stop every now and again to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add about 5 tablespoons water throughout this process to loosen it up and make blitzing easier. Do not add more than 5 tablespoons.

4. Add the oats, flaxseed, all the spices, salt and pepper along with the tamari sauce and blitz until well-combined. Remove the mixture and tip into a bowl. 

5. Gently heat the cashew nut butter in a pan on the stove to loosen and warm it, making it easier to combine into the mixture. Use a silicon spatula to scrape the butter from the pan into the chickpea mixture.

6. Then, lastly, fold 1/3 cup breadcrumbs into the mixture.

7. Create small portions of approximately 30g (1.2oz) balls and form into nugget-type shapes. Coat each nugget in the remaining 1/3 breadcrumbs (laid out on a plate) and roll around until evenly coated.

8. Place the nuggets onto a tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning each one at the 15 minute-mark. After 30 minutes, increase the oven to 200°C / 400°F and bake for 10 or 15 more minutes until the breadcrumbs have toasted – but not burnt.

9. Remove and brush the nuggets with tamari sauce and serve immediately with any dipping sauce of your choice, or simply lemon or lime wedges.